Birthday present.

Hip hip hooray, it’s my birthday. Thirty-four, I honestly can’t believe it. In a blink of an eye I’ll be forty and that scares me, A LOT.
Too bad you never get any younger, so you could redo all the things you regret and relive all the things you’ve enjoyed. With our current expat life in mind, I probably would have chosen to study something different than sociology. Don’t get me wrong, it was interesting and it broadened my mind, but – even in Belgium – there are just not that many job opportunities with this degree. But honestly, if you would ask me now what else I would have studied, I also couldn’t give an answer to that question. And that’s what scares me. I’m thirty-four years old and still don’t know where I want to stand with my professional life.
In a way, this expat life helps me to stay in this status quo, because it doesn’t force me to search for a job. On the contrary, if I would also want to have a career, daily life would be much more complicated. And do I really care? Sometimes I do, sometimes I’m even a bit frustrated, other days, I consider myself lucky that I can take care of my family without having other obligations. This Septembers month has been horrible. With both girls having everlasting respiratory infections, I would have been obligated to take up at least 10 days of leave just to be at home with them.
As long as we continue this life, without a social network, without any help, and if one of us has to be able to focus 100% on the job, the other one needs to be 100% available to be the care taker. That doesn’t mean that I can’t study about things that I’m passionate about and broaden my perspective. Currently I’m getting deeper into wines, so I would have a solid base if I ever want to participate in the wine business. Oh boy, if it would only be possible to buy a wine estate in Italy, where I could spend the rest of my days making, selling or promoting wines. A girl can dream :-).
At the moment my birthday wishes are fulfilled with my mommy’s night off in Dubai. Yesterday I left Fujairah after dropping the girls off at school, went shopping for the upcoming wedding of my brother in law (I hate shopping, I love weddings) and relaxed at the pool of this nice hotel Avani Ibn Battuta (where I could actually close my eyes for a second without having to fear one of mine could be drowning). I made the most out of my evening (casually watched some Netflix while having Mexican chicken quesadilla’s with a draft Stella on the terrace) and went to bed – exhausted – very adultlike at 10 pm. Started my morning with a workout and a fulfilling breakfast (mmm fresh veggie omelet and a double espresso) so I would be ready to do the one sport I love the most, yes I can, yes everything is possible in Dubai: skiing :-).
Let’s not think about what environmental impact maintaining that freezer in the desert has. This little extravaganza just adds up to the millions of AC’s that make living in the UAE even possible especially in these hot months. And did you also know that they do not recycle, at all?! Everything goes into the same bin: plastic, organic, glass,… which only proves that they just couldn’t care less and unfortunately as an individual there is not that much you can do about it. Hopefully they will make some changes after their big stunt with Expo 2020 “Connecting minds, creating the future” where they want to promote sustainable living. They (and the rest of the world for that matter as well) still have a looooong way to go.
But for now, for just this day, I’m going to *guilty-free* just think about myself. Cheers to that!

Ski Dubai
Avani Ibn Battuta

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